Wales 0 – 3 England
(Group B, Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, 29/11/2022)
Both teams went into this game knowing nothing was guaranteed to get either into the knock out stages, although mathematically, any of the four teams could qualify. Wales had 1 point and only a win would do with Iran doing them a favour in the other game, whilst England were on 4 points and looking almost there barring a high score loss tonight.
All the final games in all the groups will start at the same time so I guess we will be switching channels to see how the others are doing.
After this afternoon’s games, we now know the winners of this group will play Senegal and the runners up will face the Netherlands.
Four changes for England with Mount, Sterling, Saka and Trippier on the bench for Foden, Walker, Rashford and Henderson. After the lack of ambition against the USA in the last game changes had to be made.
Ampadu from Chelsea starts for the Welsh.
Two National Anthems sung with great pride, here we go ……
Wales get the game started, let’s see who is more willing to go for goal in these early stages. I sense a tight careful approach from both teams to work each other out.
England with all the possession in these early stages but hardly crossing the halfway line, this keep ball football is all very good for the stats but it’s not pretty to watch.
9 mins and Rashford is put through one on one with the keeper by Harry Kane, great save to deny England.
14 mins and an England free kick, comes out to Foden who fires wide.
16 mins and another free kick for England, this time in striking distance, what can they come up with here? Shaw puts into the box but comes to nothing.
23 mins and Rashford shoots, the Welsh defender Williams gets it straight in the face and is down, the referee stops play so he can get some attention, All good and he is back on his feet.
29 mins, Dan James gets a booking.
31 mins and Maguire powers forward and shoots, not quite on target as it goes for a throw in.
England getting frustrated now with the Welsh solid back line and midfield chances are few and far between, someone needs to run at the Welsh defence and see what happens. Most of the play this period is in the Welsh half. Williams goes down again and after that earlier head injury he is now going to be replaced by Connor Roberts, no point messing about with head injuries.
37 mins and a slick move from the English with Foden having the last touch with a shot wide and over.
38 mins overhead kick from Rashford but it goes wide, would have been a bit special had it come off.
40 mins another break from England, eventually goes for a corner, will this produce anything? Leads to another corner on the other side, you sense this pressure might produce something. Comes to nothing again.
USA just gone one up on Iran, if things stay the same England will win the group on goal difference and USA will finish second. Long way to go though before we know how that pans out.
42 mins and another England corner, can they make anything from this before halftime? Again comes to nothing as the keeper collects.
45 mins and we have 5 additional minutes to play, most of that made up from the head injury to Williams.
49 mins and at last a shot from Wales, Allen shoots but over the bar.
Halftime, and despite England having most of the possession it remains goalless at the break.
Second half underway and England kick off. Bale has been replaced by Wales due to an injury, replaced by Brennan Johnson.
48 mins and a free kick on the edge of the box after Foden makes a run at goal. England surely have to go at goal and Rashford about to take it.
48 mins GOAL! what a strike for the free kick by Marcus Rashford, hopefully that will settle the nerves a bit. Wales have to come out now.
50 mins GOAL! Two minutes after the first goal, Harry Kane crosses into the box and Phil Foden is on the end of it to smash it home. Have Wales got anything now for a comeback, it does seem unlikely?
54 mins and Wales have upped the pressure, curling shot from Dan James just goes past Pickford’s far post.
55 mins and Moore shoots, it gets a wicked deflection and Pickford has to push it away for a corner which comes to nothing.
56 mins, England substitutions with Kane, Walker and Rice going off, replaced by Wilson, Alexander-Arnold and Phillips.
The English national anthem rings around the stadium, the fans from both sides are in full voice.
60 mins Ramsey gets a yellow card for a nasty sliding tackle on Henderson.
64 mins and another England substitution, Shaw comes off and Trippier replaces him.
67 mins GOAL! Rashford runs on to the long ball and into the box before shooting past the keeper. That should be it with England surely now winning the group. Wales look a defeated team and heading home. The USA will finish second.
71 mins and Rashford nearly gets his hat trick, Callum Wilson sets him up but it’s saved by the keeper for a corner which comes to nothing.
74 mins, Rashford is substituted and replaced by Grealish.
76 mins Welsh substitution as James is replaced by Wilson.
77 mins, Bellingham should have made it four but couldn’t steer it past the keeper who knocks it out to Foden who hits it wide.
80 mins and another Welsh substitute as Allen goes off after an injury, replaced by Colwill.
82 mins and a rare Welsh attack leads to a free kick just outside the penalty area, has to go for goal, smashes off the wall and comes to nothing. Wales continue to attack and Colwill blasts over the bar. Good to see Wales having a go and making a game of it, could so easily have collapsed.
86 mins and another shot from Moore goes over the bar after Stones refuses to back away, good defending.
90 mins and there are four minutes of additional time
And the final whistle goes, comfortable 3-0 win for England in the end. As group winners they will play Senegal in the knock out stages, The one nil win by the USA over Iran means they finish runners up and will play the Netherlands.
Posted by the CSG’s World Cup Willie